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Equivalency: particle with energy

  1. Dec 30, 2009 #1

    Pythagorean

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    from wiki:
    E=mc^2

    I'm still having trouble conceptualizing this equivalence. If the wiki article speaks true:

    If a particle is in a higher energy state, it's actually more massive than the same particle in a lower energy state?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2009 #2

    tiny-tim

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    Yup! :biggrin:

    A spinning flywheel is "heavier" to push than a non-spinning one.

    If a body absorbs radiation by heating up, it is more massive.

    Same if it absorbs radiation by having electrons in more energetic states. :wink:
     
  4. Dec 30, 2009 #3

    Pythagorean

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    That sounds like an inertial statement. What about gravity? Is the force between a higher-energy particle and the Earth greater than a force between the same particle (in a lower energy state) and the Earth?

    So does this mean that somewhere down the line we will be able to construct a mass generator and exploit dm/dt in all kinds of different ways?
     
  5. Dec 30, 2009 #4

    tiny-tim

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    It is an inertial statement.
    Now you're talking about the equivalence principle, of general relativity, and the equality of inertial mass and gravitational mass …

    I suspect the wikipedia article (you didn't provide a link) is only talking about inertial mass and special relativity.
    Sorry, not following you. :redface:
     
  6. Dec 30, 2009 #5

    Pythagorean

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    ok, separating the two helps, thanks.

    In terms of technology I was asking if it implied that we could theoretically create matter with electricity one day.
     
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